Toddler accidentally injures herself with sharp pencil

Windpipe ruptured, child put on ventilator support for three days

Published - October 10, 2021 01:38 am IST

A two-year-old toddler accidentally ruptured her windpipe with a sharp pencil, leading to a life-threatening situation, said doctors at a private hospital here.

The rupture caused the air she breathed to leak out. The child was hospitalised within hours and had to be put on ventilator support, according to Aakash Healthcare, a private hospital.

The toddler is currently fine and discharged from the hospital.

“Her parents came with her to the hospital on the intervening night of September 17 and 18 after first going to another hospital. She had a swollen face, eyes, neck and chest and was not able to even open her eyes. At that time, it was a puzzle because even the parents did not know what had happened,” said Dr. Syed Hasan, Head of Department of Paediatrics and Neonatology at the hospital.

“The wound was very small and she was not bleeding when she was brought to us. We found out the rupture in the windpipe and questioned the parents, who said she had injured herself with a pencil. The wound had almost closed from outside and was healing on its own when she was brought to the hospital,” the doctor said.

But the rupture led to air leaking to her tissues, which caused the swelling. Dr. Hasan said they chose not to conduct an open chest surgery to fix the rupture as it would have been risky due to her age. The doctors let the rupture heal naturally and kept monitoring the child.

“She was put on ventilator support and after three days, when we checked the status of the site of injury with a bronchoscope, we found that it had healed. This is because while any injury in an adult takes 5-7 days to heal, in young children, lung tissues can heal in 48 hours,” the doctor said.

“The pencil belonged to the child’s elder sibling, and she had somehow gotten hold of it. Parents should be more careful with children and make sure that they don’t get their hands on anything sharp, even car keys,” he said.

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